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Old January 11 2009, 09:14 AM   #46
Nick Ryder
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

Well sometimes the dominant party needs to be brought low to be brought back up again. The 'bad guys' got their day, now are they going to swing or hang? Will the other traditional heroes redeem themselves somehow in a big way that doesn't include them simply finding some plot and going "Ah ha! See we told you they were bad. Nyah nyah! We're heroes again!"

I think what really needs to happen, Post Dark Reign is the established heroes need to prove why they can do a better job. And I would really really like to see a storyline that may be unified, but at the same time, allows each title to shine on their own. Show the Avengers at their best. Spider-Man at his best, X-Men at their best. See Iron Man redeem himself. I wish they would have gotten Tony back to his post Heroes Return self. Where he really was a nice, charming, guy. Wasn't the dick he turned into. I'm excited to see Mockingbird and Hawkeye/Ronin back together, always sort of liked that aspect of him, that he was married and fought alongside his non powered wife.

Kinda why I wished that Jackpot really WAS MJ, and it would make MJ the new 'Black Cat' in that Spidey has a girl that's also a hero. Makes sense some of the male and female heroes would eventually link up. Another reason why the death of Jan bugs me.
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Old January 11 2009, 11:52 AM   #47
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

NickRyder wrote: View Post
I honestly long for the old days of the 90s where maybe each 'family' had their own crossovers that sort of spilled over into other titles but you didn't have to essentially buy EVERYTHING the company made to get the story.
I miss the old days of the 90s when the writers knew and respected the titles they wrote. Where continuity was a source of inspiration and not a "dirty word". Where books were action and meaning dense and capable of servicing more than one plot at a time without taking an entire year to tell a story that should have taken 3-4 issues TOPS.
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Old January 11 2009, 11:59 AM   #48
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

Gojirob wrote: View Post
Quesada has sales on his side.
Like heck he does! Even allowing for the "speculator bubble", Marvel comics in the 90s typically sold at LEAST twice what they do now.

Why? Because they were BETTER COMICS. Richly writtten, with characters and stories that respected their origins. We CARED about the characters, we cared about the outcome of the plots.

I weep at seeing what's been done to my beloved Marvel Universe. Jem-ass and Joey have taken a grand lady hooked her on opium, and prostituted her out to the nearest frathouse.
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Old January 11 2009, 12:05 PM   #49
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
Because they were BETTER COMICS.
Well, let's not get crazy. I'm no fan of what they're doing these days, for the most part, but the '90s was a decade of mostly ass, where superhero comics were concerned. Of the three decades that I've been reading them, it was easily the worst, particularly for Marvel. There were some bright spots, just as they are now, but the bar was pretty low.
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Old January 11 2009, 02:05 PM   #50
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
Gojirob wrote: View Post
Quesada has sales on his side.
Like heck he does! Even allowing for the "speculator bubble", Marvel comics in the 90s typically sold at LEAST twice what they do now.
and? Comics sold more in the 1980s (leaving aside the collector bubble of the early 1990s) and more in the 1970s and more in the 1960s. Even when Stan Lee was at his peak, his comics were selling more than the previous decade. You cannot look at sales numbers devoid of context.

Every decade brings more and more things for people to spend their disposable income on - entertainment has fragmented.
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Old January 11 2009, 03:21 PM   #51
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
Because they were BETTER COMICS.
Well, let's not get crazy. I'm no fan of what they're doing these days, for the most part, but the '90s was a decade of mostly ass, where superhero comics were concerned. Of the three decades that I've been reading them, it was easily the worst, particularly for Marvel. There were some bright spots, just as they are now, but the bar was pretty low.
I disagree completely.

X-Men V2, Excalibur, PAD's X-Factor, all superlative works. Strong showings from Avengers and Iron Man. Outstanding "secondary" books like New Warriors (Vol1) and Nova (Vol2). The only thing that hurt the Spider books was the overuse of the Clone Saga. If it had been limited to just Ben/Peter being the clone, it would have been a great way to allow BOTH the Peter/MJ and Peter solo fans what they wanted. They just couldn't stop themselves from introducing a host of secondary clones and taking it too far.
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Old January 11 2009, 05:03 PM   #52
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
Gojirob wrote: View Post
Quesada has sales on his side.
Like heck he does! Even allowing for the "speculator bubble", Marvel comics in the 90s typically sold at LEAST twice what they do now.
and? Comics sold more in the 1980s (leaving aside the collector bubble of the early 1990s) and more in the 1970s and more in the 1960s. Even when Stan Lee was at his peak, his comics were selling more than the previous decade. You cannot look at sales numbers devoid of context.

Every decade brings more and more things for people to spend their disposable income on - entertainment has fragmented.
And the context in which I referred to sales, DD1, is that, while sales are on JQ's side, he is like a farmer who eats and sells all his seed corn instead of planting. These storylines, while spectacular in scope, may be difficult to sustain while keeping to Marvel's core essence. One obvious example of this is the wildly varying portrayal of Tony Stark within the books of CW, and I don't just mean JMS's Spider-Man.

I'm no fan of JQ; The erasure of Pete/MJ was something only the production staff wanted; the fans demonstrated that this was not their will, and we are the direct consumers. He and his did a bum's rush on the marriage, among other things. What happens when the fans brought in by all this settle in and feel the same sting we 'oldsters' did, when a decision goes completely against them? Given the pace the MU is going, I think that won't be long. Sometimes, a writer has to go 'there', fan-wise, but of late. 'sometimes' is always now.
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Old January 11 2009, 06:32 PM   #53
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

[quote=darkwing_duck1;2490303]
Gojirob wrote: View Post
Why? Because they were BETTER COMICS. Richly writtten, with characters and stories that respected their origins. We CARED about the characters, we cared about the outcome of the plots.
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go onto every and ANY comic book site and say this until you get laughed off the forums. Everybody knows that, yes, though the 90's had their diamonds in the rough (Peter David can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned, even when he was mandated to join in on the universe-wide stories which, unlike today, weren't as well planned), the 90's was the worst thing for comics long-term.

Variant covers, super-duper holographic please buy me covers, Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, Marvel vs. DC, Image "we don't need good writing to sell stories!", the clone saga... it was all about flash. Hence image and the superstar artists. Plots and writing was not what the 90's are known for, it was the pictures and art.

It's because of this that Marvel went bankrupt, you don't see comics at newsstands these days, and MANY (I've heard up to 2/3rds) comic shops had to close down.

No. The 90's brought very little good to the industry. Cherry pick the good stuff all you want, it's undeniable that there WAS good there. But it's not an even balance by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old January 11 2009, 10:04 PM   #54
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

Gojirob wrote: View Post
And the context in which I referred to sales, DD1, is that, while sales are on JQ's side, he is like a farmer who eats and sells all his seed corn instead of planting. These storylines, while spectacular in scope, may be difficult to sustain while keeping to Marvel's core essence. One obvious example of this is the wildly varying portrayal of Tony Stark within the books of CW, and I don't just mean JMS's Spider-Man.

I'm no fan of JQ; The erasure of Pete/MJ was something only the production staff wanted; the fans demonstrated that this was not their will, and we are the direct consumers. He and his did a bum's rush on the marriage, among other things. What happens when the fans brought in by all this settle in and feel the same sting we 'oldsters' did, when a decision goes completely against them? Given the pace the MU is going, I think that won't be long. Sometimes, a writer has to go 'there', fan-wise, but of late. 'sometimes' is always now.
I completely understand you point, I'm simply respectfully disagreeing with part of it. The Jemas/Quesada mandate from Marvel Entertainment was to increase sales. The numbers at best reflect a modest increase in SOME titles. Overall they remain relatively flat.

For every new reader that J/Q brought onboard with their "edgy" and "trendy" and "relevant" BS, they drove away at least one "old school" reader like me.

And they went out of their way to blame US for the sales drop (much the way RDM decries many TOS Galactica fans).

Nevermind that the bubble popped because of too many cardstock, foil embossed, multiple cover "special issues" that cost 25% more than the standard comic. No, they blamed the CONTENT of the stories, the writers etc.

They drew the wrong lesson from the bubble burst.
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Old January 11 2009, 10:08 PM   #55
Admiral_Young
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

90's comics being better than current era comics is debatable...although from my own experience having gone through lack luster X-Men stories, like everything post AOA basically with perhaps Onslaught and the dreaded Clone Saga which made me quit buying Spider-Man for the first time since I was around nine years old (I was around fourteen or so) there were a lot of duds. The early 90's maybe were good, and yeah I remember all the damn variant covers and holographic nonesense that was going around.
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Old January 11 2009, 10:13 PM   #56
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
And they went out of their way to blame US for the sales drop (much the way RDM decries many TOS Galactica fans).

Nevermind that the bubble popped because of too many cardstock, foil embossed, multiple cover "special issues" that cost 25% more than the standard comic. No, they blamed the CONTENT of the stories, the writers etc.

They drew the wrong lesson from the bubble burst.
I know what you're saying, but I think they know why the bubble burst and are aware that it wasn't strictly content. It was the speculator market, mostly, buying up anything and everything they thought would pay for their children's educations. Those people left leaving the fans who actually read the stories behind.

If sales were still slowly on the decline after that, the only thing that really could be to blame was content, if the original fans were slowly dropping titles. So that is logically what would have to change. And change always disappoints some, you just hope it disappoints the least amount of people or at least has the tradeoff of bringing in more than you lose.

Tough line to tread, I'm glad I'm not in that position! Otherwise it would be me that was happy and nobody else most likely!!
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Old January 11 2009, 10:14 PM   #57
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
Variant covers, super-duper holographic please buy me covers,
None of which have anything to do with CONTENT.

[
Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, Marvel vs. DC, Image "we don't need good writing to sell stories!", the clone saga...
X-Cutioner's Song. the "X-traitor" storyline (before they chickened out on the end of it). Fatal Attractions Operation Galactic Storm. The Gatherers Saga.

All good stories.

The Clone Saga started out just fine, they just took it too far. Onslaught in and of itself was a good idea, except that it stole the proper ending from the "X-traitor" storyline because of a marketing decision that Gambit and/or Rogue were too popular to be "turned evil".

And the aftereffects of Onslaught gave us one of Classic Marvel's BEST EVER new launch titles: Thunderbolts.



It's because of this that Marvel went bankrupt, you don't see comics at newsstands these days, and MANY (I've heard up to 2/3rds) comic shops had to close down.
Mavel's BUSINESS office made the decision to abandon newstands DURING the Bubble days to concentrate on servicing the direct market.

That has NOTHING to do with the content of the books. The huge "shrink" in comic stores was a result of the bubble burst brought about by the speculator frenzy, which had everything to do with the marketing gimmicks and NOTHING to do with the story matieral presented.
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Old January 11 2009, 10:20 PM   #58
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post

If sales were still slowly on the decline after that, the only thing that really could be to blame was content, if the original fans were slowly dropping titles.
The other factor that doesn't get addressed by that line of reasoning is market segmentation. This hit first run syndication programming on TV and table-top Role Playing games too.

It would be impossible to repeat the TNG phenominon today, for example. Likewise Dungeons & Dragons is a hollow shell of itself compared to what it was then. Both DIRECTLY affected by the market going from a handful of options to DOZENS of options.
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Old January 11 2009, 10:27 PM   #59
Thrall
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

This is just a theory I have so don't take this seriously. Stan Lee was the J.K. Rowling of his day with Spider-Man and everyone else his Harry Potterverse. His stories were meant for children. But because they had such a cutting edge and mature sensibility, adults not only really got into them but became the products biggest and most vocal fans. And that became the problem.

Slowly but surely comics started to cater to this very vocal fanbase and the industry began to take all of those little kids and young adults for granted. Because those adults didn't want what the kids wanted. The kids wanted escapist fun, free of overbearing complex adult issues. Or at least they wanted those things to be secondary. The adults wanted complexity, ambiguity, hipness, and relevancy.

Eventually they got what they wanted with Frank Miller and Alan Moore and every writer and artist who has followed in their footsteps or, at the very least, copied their approach to comics. Nowadays, most Marvel comics are just indistinguishable from The Watchmen and Born Again, stylistically anyway. Sure, there were some old schoolers who were able to balance the two approaches, like Chris Claremont and his team of X-Writers. But they've all kind of all fallen by the wayside nowadays it seems. The idea of trying to go back to what Lee and Kirby and all of their disciples were trying to do is met with scorn and ridicule. So Quesada is a symptom of what's wrong, rather then the source itself. The real villains are the fans who demand and cheer for this deconstructive, mature writing. All Quesada is doing is giving them what they want.

He does this because he knows all of those little kids and young adults and people who like light-hearted fun, who cried at the end of The Dark Phoenix Saga or cheered when Peter and Mary Jane got married, aren't there anymore to support the company. They're all watching Dragonball Z or reading Naruto mangas. They could care less about the adult-oriented Superhero genre of comic books that 20-30 something year old Internet Geeks love. Naruto and Inuyasha are escapist fun that cater to things they want to see and read about. Spider-man and The X-Men are confusing, overbearingly adult, and involve storylines that would be better suited for episodes of Deadwood or Nip/Tuck then Stan Lee's universe.

What I'm getting at here is that I think that the industry will become more irrelevant the more relevant it tries to be. They're kind of screwed at this point. If they try to go back to their children's stories roots even slightly, they risk pissing off their very vocal fanbase of people who think Joss Whedon is the greatest genre writer of all time. And it's kind of doubtful they would ever get those kids back, now that Japamation has it's claws in them. But if they keep doing what they are doing, they're going to become more and more niche. If anything, it proves that being relevant isn't always a good thing.

Again, this is just a theory.
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Old January 11 2009, 11:16 PM   #60
Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Dark Avengers - Your thoughts

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
Why? Because they were BETTER COMICS. Richly writtten, with characters and stories that respected their origins. We CARED about the characters, we cared about the outcome of the plots.
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go onto every and ANY comic book site and say this until you get laughed off the forums. Everybody knows that, yes, though the 90's had their diamonds in the rough (Peter David can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned, even when he was mandated to join in on the universe-wide stories which, unlike today, weren't as well planned), the 90's was the worst thing for comics long-term.

Variant covers, super-duper holographic please buy me covers, Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, Marvel vs. DC, Image "we don't need good writing to sell stories!", the clone saga... it was all about flash. Hence image and the superstar artists. Plots and writing was not what the 90's are known for, it was the pictures and art.

It's because of this that Marvel went bankrupt, you don't see comics at newsstands these days, and MANY (I've heard up to 2/3rds) comic shops had to close down.

No. The 90's brought very little good to the industry. Cherry pick the good stuff all you want, it's undeniable that there WAS good there. But it's not an even balance by any stretch of the imagination.
Exactly. The '90s were so bad that Comics Should Be Good actually has a dictionary entry for "'90s Good."

Commenter Todd Lawrence reminded me of this concept when he was discussing Karl Kesel’s Daredevil run in an entry last week. Lawrence brings up a strong point - during the 1990s, there was a number of good comic books. However, there was also a special subset of comics that were what I am now defining as “90s Good.” There was such a high supply of awful comic books during the 1990s (I think the highest percentage of bad comics came from this time period) that some comics of the time, while not really being good comics on their own, are considered good comics when viewed through the context of the times.

To wit, anyone re-read James Robinson’s WildC.A.T.s run recently? It is not bad, but nor is it anything amazing. And it certainly pales dramatically to his Starman work (heck, even to his Firearm work). Yet his short run on WildC.A.T.s is remembered so fondly that it even gets a special mention in his Wikipedia entry - “Robinson also wrote a brief but very well remembered run on Wildcats.” It IS well remembered, but it is funny that they used that term, as I think that is a great way of looking at it, it is well REMEMBERED, but that is because it came out in a sea of utter crap, so Robinson’s pretty good run on WildC.A.T.s stands out so much that when we think back to that time, his run stands out as quite good.

So yeah, for those comics from the 90s that were pretty good but are remembered as better because they came out during the 90s I am going to refer to as “90s Good.”
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